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Illustration of an elderly man sitting on a wooden bench with arms crossed, looking displeased. The word "LAZINESS" appears in capital letters to the right of him. At the bottom right corner, there is an image of 10 almonds with the text "10 almonds" beside it, symbolizing tips for overcoming procrastination.

How To Kill Laziness

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Laziness Is A Scooby-Doo Villain.

Which means: to tackle it requires doing a Scooby-Doo unmasking.

You know, when the mystery-solving gang has the “ghost” or “monster” tied to a chair, and they pull the mask off, to reveal that there was no ghost etc, and in fact it was a real estate scammer or somesuch.

Social psychologist Dr. Devon Price wrote about this (not with that metaphor though) in a book we haven’t reviewed yet, but will one of these days:

Laziness Does Not Exist – by Dr. Devon Price (book)

In the meantime, and perhaps more accessibly, he gave a very abridged summary for Medium:

Medium | Laziness Does Not Exist… But unseen barriers do (11mins read)

Speaking of barriers, Medium added a paywall to that (the author did not, in fact, arrange the paywall as Medium claim), so in case you don’t have an account, he kindly made the article free on its own website, here:

Devon Price | Laziness Does Not Exist… But unseen barriers do (same article; no paywall)

He details problems that people get into (ranging from missed deadlines to homelessness), that are easily chalked up to laziness, but in fact, these people are not lazily choosing to suffer, and are usually instead suffering from all manner of unchosen things, ranging from…

  • imposter syndrome / performance anxiety,
  • perfectionism (which can overlap a lot with the above),
  • social anxiety and/or depression (these also can overlap for some people),
  • executive dysfunction in the brain, and/or
  • just plain weathering “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune [and] the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to”, to borrow from Shakespeare, in ways that aren’t always obviously connected—these things can be great or small, it could be a terminal diagnosis of some terrible disease, or it could be a car breakdown, but the ripples spread.

And nor are you, dear reader, choosing to suffer (even if sometimes it appears otherwise)

Unless you’re actually a masochist, at least, in which case, you do you. But for most of us, what can look like laziness or “doing it to oneself” is usually a case of just having one or more of the above-mentioned conditions in place.

Which means…

That grace we just remembered above to give to other people?

Yep, we should give that to ourselves too.

Not as a free pass, but in the same way we (hopefully) would with someone else, and ask: is there some problem I haven’t considered, and is there something that would make this easier?

Here are some tools to get you started:

Take care!

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